The New York Giants have swagger and Osi Umenyiora is not afraid to show it.
After a long offseason spent being the least talked about team in the NFC East, NFL and their own city—despite winning the Super Bowl—the Giants have entered training camp ready and focused for a repeat.
While the media has raved on and on in excitement about the Washington Redskins first-round draft pick and franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III, also known as “RG3”, Umenyiora isn’t impressed just yet.
“Who is this RG3 guy you guys keep talking about?’’ Umenyiora said in an interview with WFAN, via Pro Football Talk. “You talking about Bob Griffin? You guys are giving him a cool nickname already and everything. When he does anything in the NFL we’re gonna call him RG3. Right now he’s Bob Griffin.”
No one can argue with Umenyiora on his opinion. Facts are facts. Griffin has yet to accomplish anything at the NFL level, but his name rings much louder than the defending champion New York Giants’. Umenyiora has a right to feel so strongly about “Bob”.
However, their glorified craze over RG3 pales in comparison to the disrespect the Giants have found within their own city.
Just a month after the Giants took the league by storm and staked their claim as “New York’s team”, the Jets made the biggest acquisition they could to move the spotlight in their direction. The Jets, as strange as it may appear to this day, acquired media darling and most marketable bachelor Tim Tebow in a trade with the Denver Broncos.
Umenyiora didn’t have anything negative to say about the popular quarterback, actually complimenting Tebow with admiration for his character, but did not resist from taking a stab at Jets head coach Rex Ryan.
“I think Rex has pretty much learned his lesson about [trash talking],” he told WFAN. “I like the way he coaches, I think he’s a wonderful coach but you really don’t want to be poking a bear with a short stick like that.”
Ryan’s foolish “poking” resulted in resounding 29-14 loss to the Giants in Week 16 that harmed the Jets’ playoff hopes while elevating the Giants’. The win was the first of a six-game winning streak that culminated in the Giants’ second Super Bowl victory in five seasons.
The Jets have surely garnered the media’s attention, and on excitement alone they can be deemed the all-hype team in New York. But while the Jets dillydally with the same immature, attention-seeking antics that have yet to earn them a divisional crown or a Super Bowl, the Giants are dedicating their time and effort towards a run at repeating as NFL champions.
The Giants have voiced their displeasure plenty in recent weeks about the lack of respect and credit they have been given. But the reality is the Giants bask in this—the absence of pressure, the doubtful opinions of those more enticed by flashy egos and complete disregard for the talent they boast.
The Giants are confident despite these things. They know they’re good and they strive to be better. They have the right attitude heading into the season—heck, Martellus Bennett declared his hatred for everyone in the NFL—to run through their astoundingly difficult schedule.
No one may be talking about the Giants right now, but if that swagger Umenyiora and the Giants are boasting is any indication of things to come, there will be plenty to talk about for Big Blue this upcoming season.